Antiques come in all shapes and sizes. Their pasts and places they’ve been are sometimes known but often held secret to the piece itself. You don’t have to be an avid collector or Sotheby’s frequenter to own an antique or appreciate its significance. Oftentimes the best pieces are the ones that have been handed down from family to family, while collecting stories and memories along the way. Carolyn Kendall, owner of Alcott Interiors and Antiques, was just the person to discuss today’s post. In addition to cultivating exquisite rooms, using both old and new pieces, Carolyn’s antique admiration carries over into her storefront as well. With a shipment from France recently arriving at her shop, we thought it was the perfect time to get her thoughts on antique appreciation.
BACKGROUND: Carolyn Kendall strives to create unique spaces for each client’s particular tastes and lifestyles. Carolyn’s favorite way to achieve a specialized aesthetic and freshness in design is by merging the beautiful pieces from the past and the present. Alcott Interiors and Antiques is not only a design firm but is also a beautiful showroom filled with incredible European antiques. Carolyn spends a lot of time searching for exquisite and interesting antique furniture, lighting, accessories, and artwork to help define her designs and the shop on Blair Blvd.
(Carolyn recently spent two weeks in Paris scouring the markets for fabulous antiques to bring back and share with the city of Nashville.)
The phone call came last week that the container had successfully passed through customs and was going to be arriving in less than 24 hours. Needless to say we were not quite prepared. We immediately began making the appropriate phone calls to get all of the hands we needed. Alcott worked hard into the weekend getting the shipment un-crated and now the beautiful new inventory is out for everyone to see.
Here are a couple of images of our new inventory. We have received a beautiful French painted wing chair and ottoman, a stunning Louis Phillipe secretary, and hand carved pair of French chairs.
Many people may be turned away from antiques because they are associated with extremely traditional spaces or feel “museum like”. However, a brilliant mix between new and old can help to masterfully define a beautiful space and still allow it to be comfortable and livable. Antique furniture, lighting, and artwork can be mixed in a room in such a fresh and modern way. If you are someone who tries to stay clear of heavy or ornate antiques, you are in luck! Many of the antiques that are in vogue and in high demand now have simpler lines. The simple lines of a Louis Philippe or Directoire chest paired with gilt French mirror can develop into a beautiful vignette.
This image showcases a space within the Alcott showroom. The simple lined antiques are paired with vintage alabaster lighting, and transitional artwork on canvas. The beautiful French dining chairs have been given a fresh modern look with new seat cushions. All of these fabulous pieces sit on a beautiful antique oushak in subdued hues. Don’t be afraid that antiques will begin to look heavy and dated. A beautiful antique is timeless and is always in style. A contrast between the new and the old or the simple and complex can add a special dimension to any interior space.
Twenty years ago interior spaces were busy and full of pattern! It was very common to see a sofa upholstered in patterned chintz sitting on a busy oriental rug with over the top silk drapery treatments. Today it’s all about contrasting the simple with complex. This salon space is full of different simple textures contrasted with the large scale pattern on the ottoman and drapery panels.
This is another shot of the same salon space. (If you can’t already tell, we loved this project!) We love how this transitional space is still filled with the charm that only antiques can provide. The simple modern swivel chairs and gold drum table are contrasted with a beautiful antique Swedish corner cabinet and an antique Oushak rug.
We love this next space too! It is so fresh and light but full of beautiful antiques. The breakfast area has a beautiful French farm table and fabulous antique chairs that have been reupholstered in a current fabric. The den has a great mix of old and new. The new upholstery pieces are contrasted with a stunning antique linen press that has been outfitted to house the family’s TV. The antique wing chair has been upholstered with a large scale fabric that has brought an old piece of furniture back to life in this fresh and modern space.
This dining room is anything but ordinary. The antique set of chairs have been reupholstered in luxurious sea-foam green velvet. These chairs paired with an exquisite crystal chandelier give this dining room freshness suited for royalty. This space is such a great example of how treasures of the past can be used in such a current way.
So as you can see, antiques can be used in a versatile way: blending the old and new and adding a nod to the past, while embracing the present. But don’t just take our word for it…stop by and visit our showroom at 2003 Blair Blvd! Come see for yourself how these relics of history can fit into anyone’s interior canvas.
Thank you Carolyn and the Alcott Interiors team! We are heading your way to see those amazing Parisian finds! For more information about Carolyn and Alcott Interiors, see below:
2003 Blair Boulevard
Nashville, TN 37212
(Images 1, 9-15: Bob Shatz Photography of Alcott Interiors work; Images 2-8: Alcott Interiors)
Nashville Interior Design Blog